T-Mobile plans to start selling a home phone and a small tablet computer, both running on Android, in early 2010, according to published reports. This is in addition to the G1 it currently markets and the forthcoming G2.
It’s a great sign for Google that Android is being picked up not only as an operating system for phones but for small computing devices as well. HP is reportedly considering using Android in future netbook releases.
That said, I think Apple has proven with the iPhone that the future of personal computing lies with expanding on the functionality and form factor of smartphones rather than trying to shrink the laptop.
Ultimately, which would you rather have–a netbook for surfing the Web and little else, or a souped-up smartphone?
On the other hand, T-Mobile won’t get significant traction with these Android-powered devices unless it steps up its coverage and call quality. According to the most recent study by J.D. Powers, T-Mobile doesn’t rank well against its peers in any one of six geographic regions (the best grade it gets is three out of five stars, but mostly has only two out of five).
Google isn’t in a position to pick carriers who can use Android (it’s, um, open to anyone), but I’m sure it wishes Verizon or AT&T would have a gander.